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Saturday December 11, 2010

KL and Seoul to work together on nuclear energy

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has expressed interest in tapping into South Korea’s expertise in operating smart or small scale nuclear reactors as a cleaner source of energy.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said South Korea was globally acknowledged as a leader in the field of green technology including the safe operation of nuclear reactors.

“We would like to look at South Korea’s strength in green and renewable energy, as well as alternative technology, especially in operating smart nuclear reactors,” he said at a joint press conference with South Korean president Lee Myung-bak here yesterday.

“I explained to the Prime Minister the safety, efficiency and reliability of Korean nuclear reactors and I have invited him to come for a visit next year to see for himself how reliable it is,” he said.

The two leaders earlier held a bilateral meeting and witnessed the signing of the Treaty of Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and the MoU on the foresight and R&D evaluation performance between the Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP).

They also witnessed the signing of the MoU on joint promotion efforts in bio-technology and bio-fuels between Malaysia Bio­technology Corporation Sdn Bhd (Biotechcorp) and Korea Energy Management Corporation (Kemco).

Najib said discussions also touched on working together to explore markets in third countries overseas by taking advantage of Malaysia’s excellent links in certain parts of the world and Korea’s technological advancements.

“We also agreed we should encourage investment between our two countries particularly in getting Korean companies already present in Malaysia to increase their level of reinvestment here,” he said.

He said both countries would also look into further enhancing economic cooperation by signing a separate Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to complement the existing Asean-Korean FTA.

Najib said there had been a 34% increase in bilateral trade between Malaysia and South Korea this year that saw trade jump to US$16bil (RM50.3bil).

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